Every year, Apple comes out with a new phone. Every other year is really a filler year, as was last year when they released the 6s and 6s Plus. This year, however, was the year that they release a phone with a lot of new hardware. These are the years that I upgrade. After 2 years with my old phone, I was strangely feeling attached to it, while simultaneously getting excited about the iPhone 7. Either way, I preordered my iPhone 7 Plus, and it was in my hands on the day it was released.
Many other Apple fanboys and fangirls did not take the safe route of preordering, and instead took their chances getting their new phone in an Apple or mobile carrier store on release day. As per usual, the lines were crazy. People got in line sometimes the night before, or spent upwards of six hours waiting in line the day of the release. While many people were able to get the phone, there no doubt many disappointed people that left empty-handed. I started to think about other items that we are willing to camp out for, including toys (like Tickle Me Elmo), movies (like the Twilight series), and video games (sorry, I’m not a gamer so I have no example for this one – though I feel like maybe I recently heard something about a Pokémon Go watch and people lining up for that).
Even in these days where Internet ordering generally rules, we will still line up and camp out because we don’t want to chance things like bad weather or shipping delays keeping us from getting the new release right away. The perfect case in point is the release of the new Harry Potter book that caused people to straight up hyperventilate. Customers that ordered from Amazon were in dismay when they learned that they would not in fact be receiving their book on the day it was released. Chaos ensued, and many blogging sites picked up the story after consumers got loud on social media.
For home automation, we haven’t yet reached this level of critical mass, though I don’t think we are that far off. Many of the tech products that cause a frenzy, like the Amazon Echo, are only available online so they don’t cause physical lines. They do, however create backorders and waiting lists. I know that the Google Home device is a pretty public and highly anticipated device. The Amazon Echo helped introduce the general public to the idea of home automation, and the Google name is a household name already. That perfect storm is creating a lot of buzz for the new product, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a backup of orders once it is released.
As more and more home automation and home technology products are released, and as they gain popularity in pop culture, I can see their presence moving to more physical stores, and creating these frenzies that result in long, Black Friday-style lines.
What technology are you willing to camp out for?